I kind of lucked out with this shot – I’d just gotten my new camera two weeks earlier and can’t say I really knew what I was doing at this point. I had first noticed and photographed the bug sitting on top of the flower but totally blew the exposure due to the flower’s bright yellow color. My clumsy approach also caused the insect to move under the flower, where I watched it settle down and begin feeding before trying another shot. The dorsal surface of this species is mottled gray and brown, allowing the bug to blend in with most backgrounds. The underside of the body, however, is thickly matted with white hair, providing a very nice contrast with the black background that I
stumbled upon achieved in this photo to emphasize the distinctive appearance of this often-overlooked insect.
Photo Details: Canon 50D w/ 100mm macro lens (ISO 100, 1/250 sec, f/14), Canon MT-24EX flash (1/4 ratio), undiffused. Typical post-processing (levels, minor cropping, unsharp mask).
Adler, P. H. and A. G. Wheeler. 1984. Extra-phytophagous food sources of Hemiptera Heteroptera: Bird droppings, dung, and carrion. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 57(1):21-27.
Engelhardt, G. P. 1912. A hemipteron on carrion. Journalof the New York Entomological Society 20:294.
Slater, J. A. and R. M. Baranowski. 1978. How to Know the True Bugs. W. C. Brown Company Publishers, 256 pp.
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2010